I have been using different kinds of bikes for a long time. At first, I had a mountain bike, later I also bought a BMX bike. Both bikes give me a lot of pleasure during the ride.
Do you need to know details about both bikes to realize if a BMX bike is better than a Mountain Bike? Typically, a rider uses a mountain bike to ride rough terrain and cover a long distance. Besides, a BMX bike is suitable for different stunts.
In this article, I will discuss some issues with BMX bikes and mountain bikes. From which you can determine which bike will be best for you. Let’s get started.
Are BMX And Mountain Biking The Same?
No, BMX and MTB biking is not the same. There are many differences in the design of these two bikes. That’s why BMX and Mountain bikes are different for the purpose of use as well. People commonly used BMX bikes on stunts or man-made smooth surfaces. Besides, people use mountain bikes to ride rough terrain.
Below, I put some rays over the differences between these two bikes.
BMX bike manufacturers make the frames very strictly. Therefore, using these bikes doesn’t get damaged when doing different stunts. Most BMX bikes are small and frames are made of aluminum and steel. As the bikes are light, riders can perform various techniques, jumps, and stunts.
Besides, Mountain bike frames are available with slightly larger in Frame and wheels. The frames of this bike are more flexible than BMX, which allows you to go a long way with great comfort and ease. Even an MTB cyclist can use the frame of its beast to contain air pumps, beverage bottles, and lights.
Riders consider 20-inch diameter wheels as the standard on BMX bikes. However, the wheels on these bikes can range from 14 inches to 24 inches. The wheels of these bikes are rigid and heavily laced to withstand the pressure with large landings.
On the other hand, the standard size of a mountain bike wheel is 26 inches, although riders like 29-inch wheels equally. Because larger wheels make it easier for mountain bikes to ride on rocks or logs.
BMX bikes do not use any suspension. The rider’s legs and body absorb the full impact.
But Mountain bikes have two types of suspension; only front suspension or fully suspended. So riders feel relatively more comfortable than a BMX bicycle when riding on hard surfaces. Furthermore, it provides more control while hit on the tough tracks.
Almost all BMX bikes use a single gear system. This system helps the rider to reach maximum speed quickly while stunting or jumping.
But mountain bikes can have up to 20 different gearing systems! A rider can use the gear according to his comfort, need, and advantage. And that allows him to move easily on different paved or unpaved trails.
● Braking System
BMX bikes usually have no brakes on the front wheels, but use a powerful V-brake on the rear wheels. This braking system does not interfere with the rider during various stunts, jumps, or tricks.
On the other hand, MTBs are usually watched using discs, calipers, or a combination of both brakes. These types of breaks help you in controlling the bike at any moment, in any tough situation.
Can You Use A BMX Bike For Mountain Biking?
No. Most Pro-cyclists and experts don’t recommend BMX bikes for mountain biking. Although you can use them for mountain biking, you will face some difficulties. The following 6 features make BMX bikes quite difficult for mountain biking.
- Fixed Saddle Position:
The saddle position of BMX bikes is not rider-friendly. Riders have to stand up to paddle well. Therefore, you get tired so quickly and can’t do much biking on hill tracks.
- No Suspension:
Since the BMX bike has no suspension, your legs and body absorb all the shocks. This puts more strain on your body and makes bike riding riskier.
- Small Wheel
The wheels of BMX bikes are usually 20 inches in size and are suitable for smooth road riding. And its wheels are less knobby. They are not as useful as on rocky trails. Besides, you cannot expect very good traction from the wheels.
- Design Of The Frame:
The frames of the BMX bikes are slightly smaller and compact, making them suitable for stunts. But for mountain biking, you have to face a lot of difficulties with this frame. Especially if your height is good, it will be really difficult to ride a bike.
- Single Speed Gear System:
A single gear system is one of the features of BMX bikes. So you need to paddle a lot to ride these. So mountain biking using BMX bikes can lead to fatigue and muscle cramps on the track.
- Breaking System:
The brake system of BMX bikes is weaker than mountain bikes. Using these brakes, you cannot control the bike or handle a sudden push on steep slopes. You need a combined braking system of both wheels to deal with such situations.
Is A BMX Bike Better Than A Mountain Bike?
It is not possible to say which of the two bikers is better. It depends upon one’s riding choices and preferences. Because the purpose of using both bikes is completely different.
- If you like mountain, rocky, or hilly-track biking, then obviously BMX bikes are not the preferable choice for you. But if you want to do different tricks or stunts, then BMX bikes are definitely better than mountain bikes.
- If you are a common rider, MTBs are best for you. Because you can use these bikes on almost all types of tracks or roads and cover long distances. But BMX bikes have some limitations. Therefore, you can’t use them for all kinds of roads and long rides.
- The compact design of the BMX bike makes the bike ideal for kids. In addition, the maintenance of BMX bikes is much easier, as these bikes have very few parts.
Finally, I would like to suggest that –
- BMX bikes are better for you than mountain bikes if you are thinking of buying a bike for your child or practicing various bike stunts.
- But, the mountain bike is more suitable for a common rider.
Are BMX Bikes Faster Than Mountain Bikes?
Yes, BMX bikes are faster than mountain bikes, because of their several special features.
- The BMX bike’s single gear system helps a rider to pick up speed the most.
- Besides, the shape of the wheel also plays a very effective role in speeding up the bike. The smaller wheels of the bike provide more speed quickly.
- Because its tires are rigid and less knobby, the speed of the bikes increases faster than mountain bikes.
In a word, a BMX bike is faster than a mountain bike to cover short distances on smooth roads.
Can You Ride BMX Bikes On The Road?
Yes, you can easily ride a BMX bike on the road. Especially in the 80s, many bikers used to ride these bikes on the road. But these bikes have some limitations. So they’re not comfortable riding on the road. Yet you can ride them on the road if you wish.
The concerning facts about BMX riding on city roads are its seating position and gear system. As you know already, they are not very suitable for city rides.
And, you should not ride a BMX on the pavement. Although they provide good grip at slow speeds and control using rear brakes, in most places- it is illegal. So before riding BMX bikes on the pavement, you must know the rules of your state and country.
Why Do BMX Bikes Have No Gears?
BMX bikes have only one or two gears, in most cases- a single gear system.
Two Gears: The first is on the chainring and the other is on the cassette. This gear system, connected by a chain, allows the wheel to rotate when pedaling. This gear system is very important for the bike to achieve a high speed over short distances.
- Riders usually use BMX bikes for big jumps or stunts. These types of tricks require high speeds over short distances. That’s why BMX bikes use this type of gear system.
Can You Put Gears On A BMX Bike?
Oh, Yes! You can put gears on a BMX bike. Although the issue is a bit of a hassle, it is possible.
- To insert the big hub, you may need to open the frame of the bike, which requires experience. Also, BMX bikes do not include any derailleur hangers. So you need to mount it with an axle using a simple derailleur model.
- An MTB usually has 26-inch wheels, yet the derailleur feels close to the ground. So when setting the derailleur, you need to make sure that it is at the required height from the ground.
- You can also install an internal gear hub. This will give it a clean look and benefit from the horizontal dropouts found in the frame. But, you may need to spend a lot of money to install this type of gear hub.
Why Does BMX Have No Front Brakes?
A rider uses a BMX bike to perform various stunts, big jumps, or tricks, so they are reckless, risk-takers, or the pros. That’s why they don’t need good brakes to control the speed of their bikes.
Basically, most of the time, they don’t even need to run very fast. For this, they don’t use front-wheel brakes. Rather, the rear wheel brakes are enough to control their bikes.
- In addition, if there is a front brake, the rider may get difficulty turning the handlebars while performing the technique or may not rotate properly.
- If there is no front brake, the bike feels less heavy. Many beginners install brakes on their BMX bikes, but this is unnecessary for the experienced.
Can You Ride BMX Without Brakes?
You can only ride a BMX bike off-road without brakes. In almost all countries, riding a bike without brakes is legally punishable and you may have to pay a fine. That’s why bike manufacturers use at least one brake on their bikes.
Although many experienced riders prefer to ride bikes without brakes which turns out to be very dangerous! This is because not being able to control the speed of the bike at the right time can cause damage to both the pedestrian and the rider.
At last, considering the law- ‘You Must Use the Brakes on Your BMX’.
Mountain bikes are best for a common rider. The frame, wheels, braking system, and accessories of this bike are very suitable for mountain biking.
If you like exciting activities like various stunts, then there is no substitute for BMX bikes. The compact size of these bikes, brakeless front wheel, and gear system will help you.
And if you still have a problem understanding ‘Is a BMX bike is better than an MTB’, then please again go through the full article. This will definitely make you realize which bike is better for whom. That’s all for now, Dude. See you again with a new topic with an enriching problem-solving discussion.